11 Aug 2017
There are many conditions which can cause discomfort in your mouth, and fewer can be more frustrating to deal with than swollen gums. You might have a lingering painful sensation in your gums, or your gums may bleed when you floss or brush your teeth. Many people understand that they should see a dentist when they have a toothache, but what are the solutions when dealing with gum inflammation?First, it may be of some help to know that you aren’t alone in suffering from gum inflammation. The Canadian Dental Association estimates that approximately 70 percent of Canadians will develop some form of gum disease during their lifetime, which contributes to painful inflammation and swelling.
Gum inflammation, also known as gingivitis, can develop into the more severe type of gum disease known as periodontitis if it is not treated or taken seriously. Taking preventative steps — especially when you first experience gum inflammation — is essential for avoiding loose teeth, loss of bone and other oral health consequences that can result from extreme gum inflammation.
While many of the following steps may sound relatively basic, dental professionals have confirmed time and time again that they are your best methods for easing gum inflammation and halting the progression of gum disease:
- Better Brushing : Many people try to brush vigorously in an effort to remove plaque and food buildup from their teeth, but in many instances, brushing too hard can actually aggravate gum inflammation. For better brushing results (and for reduced pain around your gums), you should instead gently brush back and forth across the surface of your teeth. In addition, always use a soft or ultra soft-bristled toothbrush. Improving your brushing habits can help you avoid gum damage as well as prevent cavities and other oral hygiene problems. Specially formulated anti-gingivitis toothpastes are also available to give you extra ammunition as you combat your inflammation.
- Flossing : Gum inflammation is caused by excessive plaque and tartar buildup, and few hygiene habits do a better job of removing these harmful substances than flossing. Sliding floss up and down the sides of your teeth reaches many areas that you’ll miss by brushing alone. As with brushing, however, it is important that you practice gentle flossing techniques. Trying to force the floss up or down can inflame your gums if you’re not careful. For individuals who wear braces or have difficulty flossing, an interdental brush can serve as an effective alternative to standard dental floss.
- Rinsing : Rinsing your mouth with an antiseptic mouthwash — or even just clean drinking water — can also help you remove plaque-causing food particles from your mouth. For best results, use an anti-gingivitis mouthwash, which makes use of antibacterial formulas specifically designed to kill the germs that inflame your gums.
- Extra Dental Care : Some extra dental care to relieve more severe cases of gum inflammation may be necessary. For example, many dental dental offices utilize a practice known as root planing to help treat the more serious forms of gum disease. During this procedure, a dental professional will use a specialized tool to access and clean the root surfaces of your teeth, where dental plaque and calculus often form a periodontal pocket that contributes to your inflammation. Multiple treatments are typically required to fully eliminate the condition.
Inflammation or bleeding of the gums might seem ‘normal’ for some people. But in reality, bleeding gums is by no means normal. If you see redness or bleeding, your gums are trying to tell you something is wrong.
Your best method for stopping gum inflammation is to practice sound oral hygiene. Proper brushing, flossing, and rinsing — in accompaniment with regular dental visits — can make a significant difference in the health of your gums.
If you are not sure about your techniques, the next time you’re at the dental office, request a demonstration. Sometimes the slightest tweak can take you from pain and discomfort to strong and healthy gums which will ensure a healthier future for your mouth.